Advancing Community Health through IT: 2 Targets
At this point in our series on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020” we’ve detailed the overall scope of the plan and three of its tops goals: expanding the adoption of health IT, advancing the security and interoperability of health information, and strengthening healthcare delivery. Up next, we’re going to look at another goal on Uncle Sam’s radar, namely advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
Oftentimes patients are viewed strictly as the recipients of care, not as partners in the process. This viewpoint restricts their ability to take the reins on their healthcare and play a more active role in decision-making. The government believes by altering that dynamic to a more person-centric approach, it will lead to better care and healthier individuals and groups.
The belief is that Health IT will play an important part in changing the way patients and providers view an individual’s role in his or her own care.
Government focal points
Here are the two objectives which the government will be working to accomplish over the next few years in the hopes of advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities:
1) Empower individual, family, and caregiver health management and engagement
Healthcare IT is making info and data more universal, integrated and accessible. Despite that accessibility, it can still be tough to get individuals or families to take a more active role in their care. But that is a core component of improving quality of life, according to the government’s report. To increase empowerment, the government will circulate IT tools and educational resources geared towards helping patients gain a better understanding of the full scope of their care, including costs and alternatives. The Feds will also try to increase the availability of, and the level of control people have over, their electronic individually identifiable health information.
2) Protect and promote public health and healthy, resilient communities
Public health departments and human services providers need to be able to process the rising tide of health data and info coming through their systems. The more efficient they are, the better they’ll be able to service their communities, leading to a healthier and more resilient public. To make this happen, the government will back the use of health IT to perform community health assessments to aid at-risk individuals. The Feds will also work to expand health IT and predictive analytics to assist communities in treating and preventing a wide array of conditions, including infections and chronic health issues.
The “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020” won’t be finalized until February. The final version of the plan is expected to bring a number of new prospects and potentially even some headaches for healthcare IT teams. That’s where having a partner like Arraya Solutions can be invaluable. Arraya can shoulder the responsibility for lower-level tasks like routine maintenance, updates and help desk tickets. With that off of its plate, an existing IT team can devote its full attention to taking on those new prospects and headaches. To find out more about Arraya’s healthcare solutions, visit http://go.arrayasolutions.com/healthcare.html or speak with your Arraya Account Executive. Follow Arraya on Twitter @ArrayaSolutions